Common Sense, British Edition

Of the Present Ability of America, with Some Miscellaneous Reflexions

Page 33

COMMON SENSE.                             33 

Ships         Guns        Cost of one.              Cost of all. 
       6       --    100    --      35,553l.    -----    213,318l. 
      12      --      90    --       29,886      -----   358,632
      12       --     80    --       23,638      ------  283,656
      43       --     70    --      17,785      ------   764,755 
      35       --     60    --       14,197      ------  496,895
      40       --     50    --       10,606      ------  424,240
      45       --     40    --        7,558       ------  340,110
      58       --     20    --         3,710      ------  251,180
      85  Sloops, bombs
            and fireships, one }  2,000                 170,000
            with another,                                  ------------
                                                                   Cost 3,266,786
            Remains for guns,     -    -      -     -    233,214

No country on the globe is so happily situated, or so in-
ternally capable of raising a fleet as America. Tar, timber,
iron, and cordage, are her natural produce. We need go
abroad for nothing. Whereas the Dutch, who make large
profits by hiring out their ships of war to the Spaniards and
Portuguese, are obliged to import most of their materials they
use. We ought to view the building a fleet as an article of
commerce, it being the natural manufactory of this country.
It is the best money we can lay out. A navy when
finished is worth more than it colt. And is that nice point
in national policy, in which commerce and protection are
united. Let us build ; if we want them not, we can sell;
and by that means replace our paper currency with ready
gold and silver.

In point of manning a fleet, people in general run into
great errors; it is not necessary that one fourth part should
be sailors. The Terrible privateer, Captain Death, stood the
hottest engagement of any ship last war, yet had not twenty
sailors on board, though her complement of men was up- 
wards of two hundred. A few able and social sailors will
soon instruct a sufficient number of active landmen in the
common work of a ship. Wherefore, we never can be more
capable to begin on maritime matters than now while our
timber is standing, our fisheries blocked up, and our sailors
F                                              and


“Common Sense, British Edition,” Common Sense Digital Edition, accessed April 16, 2024,

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